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As Super Bowl LVII approaches, these standout athletes made for one of the most electrifying NFL seasons

by Kat » on Feb 02, 2023 0

Standout Mr. Irreverent rookie Brock Purdy ended his rookie season going undefeated in seven complete games, as seven-time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady finished his 23rd season at age 45 — that is correct, forty-five years of age!

Earlier this year, the Class of 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists were announced. Stars of the past two decades, such as Devin Hester, Ronde Barber, and Darrelle Revis, will be inducted and join household names of the sport. Also, we experienced breakout performances from rookies such as the Detroit Lions Defensive End Aidan Hutchinson and Wide Receiver Chris Olave of the New Orleans Saints. Every NFL player was once a hometown hero competing for a high school state championship, but are they still relevant? 

A recent study found the most popular NFL rookies and Hall of Famers in each U.S. state. They sourced players’ data from the NFL website, Bleacher Report, Clutch Points, and Players Bio. In order to collect and compare search interest data for all players in each state, the company sourced information from Google Trends.

San Francisco 49ers Defensive End Drake Jackson is the most popular rookie overall; the second most popular rookie was Seattle Seahawks Offensive Tackle Charles Cross with four states. There is no surprise that Jackson won California as the most searched rookie, along with four other states. Jackson is a California native who played for the USC Trojans before getting drafted in the second round. 

Joe Cool, famously known as Joe Montana, is the most popular Hall of Famer, winning in eight states. He appeared in eight Pro Bowls, collected two MVPs, and contributed to the Niners’ four Super Bowl titles in the 1980s. Coincidentally, one of the states Joe Montana won was the state of Montana. The other seven states were Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Missouri, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

Arguably the best running back of all time, Emmitt Smith was the most searched Hall of Fame player in the Lone Star State. Smith retired in 2004 with 164 rushing touchdowns and won three Super Bowl titles for America’s Team. The Dallas Cowboys legend also won the states of Arkansas, Alabama, New Mexico, and South Carolina. He was the second most popular Hall of Famer overall– tied with the Chicago Cardinals’ great, Night Train Lane. 

Another NFL season concludes, and it has been equally rewarding to celebrate the pigskin legends of the past, as it is to witness the beginning career trajectory of the young star players of today.

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